Dog is abandoned in park with “FREE” written on her fur in permanent marker

It’s always a sad situation to have to give up a pet. But if you really can no longer care for your pet for whatever reason, you at least owe it to the animal to give them away in a proper and ethical manner.

You should try to secure your pet a good new home, or at least surrender them to an animal shelter who can. What you should not do is simply ditch them out on their own, which is unfortunately what many thoughtless owners have done. It’s irresponsible and leaves the animal in danger.

That was the case for one dog, whose former owner abandoned her in such a bizarre manner that rescuers were heartbroken by the sight. But with a little love, they turned her life around.

In May 2018, a lab-mix puppy was found in Yoctangee Park Chillicothe, Ohio. People immediately realized she had been abandoned by her previous owner… because it was written all over her.

The dog had the words “FREE DOG” crudely written on her side in permanent marker.

Even worse, she had marker writing all over her.

The poor dog’s face said “good home only,” while her other side said “I am a gift from God.”

“I usually try to contain my self with my work life and with what I see every single day, but this just tops it off!” said Brittany May of the Ross County Humane Society, who posted photos of the dog on Facebook. “How are you going to dump your dog, and write FREE all over it in permanent marker! I just don’t get it!”

“This is a whole new level of LOW!”

Ross County Humane Society took the dog in, and named her Marvella. They had never seen anything like it.

“We were all kind of shocked,” office manager and adoption coordinator Sarah Cantrell told TODAY. “It just seems like a childish thing to do.”

While the markers seem crude and demeaning, a more serious issue is that the dog was dumped outside and exposed at the beginning of summer. Sarah says that many abandoned dogs do not survive being left on their own.

However, Marvella was luckily unharmed and got all the care she needed from the humane society. The staff worked hard to scrub the marker writing off her fur.

“She’s healthy and sweet and thankfully did not suffer from heat exposure,” Sarah said.

According to Today, the owner has been charged with charged with cruelty to animals, abandonment and failure to license.

However, she’s come forward to tell her side of the story. Marvella’s former owner, Kendra Stafford, told WCMH that her landlord made her give up the dog. She said she tried unsuccessfully to find her a home over Craigslist and that the shelters were all full, so she resorted to leaving the dog in the park with a sign.

“I went to my car to go find a piece of tape, couldn’t find a piece of tape,” she said. “I then got out a permanent marker that wasn’t supposed to be used on my dog… and then after I did that, I had that cringeworthy moment where I was just like ‘oh my gosh, I messed up, like she looks awful.”

“I regret writing on the dog, and I think that it was a mistake, but it was all good intentions behind it.”

But the network reported that Ross County is the only shelter in the area, and they have no record of Stafford reaching out to them with the dog, casting some doubt on her story.

Sarah Cantrell told Today that they ask for a $50 surrender fee to take in an animal, but they will help people with their specific situations.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending for Marvella. Once she was back to full health, she was put up for adoption. Calls and messages came in from around the country from people wanting to adopt her. A pressure washing company even volunteered to cover her adoption fees, and others pitched in to cover her care expenses.

In the end, she went to a loving home with Linette Wrightsel and her family.

While it’s a happy ending for this mistreated dog, there are plenty of others out there still in need of our help.

“Please remember that in any shelter on any given day there are dogs who have been given away as ‘free to good home’ and are awaiting their forever home, just like Marvella,” Ross County wrote on Facebook. “Please support your local animal shelters and adopt, don’t shop.”

It’s wonderful to hear that Marvella found a good forever home! Thanks to the rescuers who cared for her, and let’s hope people like them continue to care for abandoned dogs everywhere!

Share this inspiring story!